Yes, in some things, age matters. Take the case of Freckles & his mate here.
Freckles aka slug bait is a Viola sororia that came from one of the local garden centres. A couple of quid it cost me, at the time. If anyone recognises the pot, I'd be grateful if you gave me a shout. I got it at the Ginkgo show in Belgium in 2003 or thereabouts. Freckles went into the pot about a year later and has never been out since, despite the numerous attempts on its life and well-being. 5 years have given Freckles a bit of maturity, presumably which is one reason he took second place in the Accent Plant class at last week's Open Competition.
On the other hand, this kusamono planting was made last year at Chie-san's kusamono class - she holds one or two a year at Windybank Bonsai. This composition is made up of brunnera, the Japanese Hakenachloa grass (beloved of so many accent plant compositions) and a fern or two. The suiban is Japanese. So although this planting is a year old and the plants have all bedded in, it still has a ways to go before it acquires the character that Freckles has.
At this point, I feel obligated to defend my reputation. In relation to paying the correct amount for the number of entries in the Wessex Show's Open Competition, it seems I had overpaid. I believe at the time I was filling in the forms, I wasn't sure if I was going to do a 3-plant display or a 4-plant display in my 5-tier composition. I opted against 4 as it isn't an auspicious number to a lot of Asians - no sense in freaking anyone out.
No matter, as the Wessex Chairman tells me I can't count anyway. Feh. What's worrying is most everyone agrees with him.